Rather than releasing a sonic sign of the stagnant times, The Empty Page protested our drab and dog-eared-with-anxiety modernity by letting pulsating synths guide the way towards 90s nostalgia in their electro-punk hit, Dry Ice.
Lyrically, you’re reminded of how it felt to be stripped of inhibition, sharing the euphoria with strangers long before they could request you on Facebook and never speak to you again and even longer before the pandemic left its mark on our social appetites while the dizzying guitars drop off-kilter momentum around the gravelly pulls of the post-punk bass strings.
It’s a major shift from the Manchester-based outfit’s previous sound that has been lauded by just about everyone that matters. The duo has ventured into their The Julie Ruin era, and we couldn’t be here for it more. After all, synths were the true gateway to punk and DIY (FIGHT ME), and this new anxiously frenetic earworm that will pull Polaroids of strobe-lit hedonism towards your temporal lobe is the ultimate affront to the new normal.
Dry Ice will officially release on November 18th. Watch the official video on YouTube, add it to your Spotify playlists, or support the band by purchasing the single on Bandcamp.
Fans of the 1980’s Washington DC punk rock scene will be thrilled to know that area legends, Misfit Toys have regrouped to record previously unreleased songs. For those wanting to relive the electric days of underground pop and alternative music, or if you’re still craving that yesteryear nostalgia, the track “Stop and Fade Away,” is a must.
Guitars playing an attitude-line opens the song, then changing into chugging chords in happily predictable changes maintains the rhythm section for the rest of the track. The vocalist, (Ukrainian borne) Victory Vizhanska is more than apt in her lead-singer position with just the right amount of sass in her voice to complement the song’s edge. Overall, for fans of the Go-Go’s or Blondie, Misfit-Toys is a welcome sound. It’s like an upbeat anthem we can all bop to while enjoying time in an arcade or roller-rink.
This group really is a wellspring of fascinating DC-Local-Band information, and for those interested in this peculiar niche, hopping over to their website at themisfit-toys.com is highly advised. There they have interviews with each of the band-mates, quite a bit of history. And of course, a page with links to a host of music videos.
Sawing off the tree and doing it with a cheeky wink too, Mince surge through with a striking single to dust off those mud-soaked boots with on their stomping new release called Misprint.
Mince is a 5-piece Leeds, UK-based indie post-punk band who blasts through with a thunder-like entry into our shocked souls each time they drop the heat.
“Misprint is a problem that nobody is ever likely to face. We all have irrational fears, but what about the worries our minds haven’t even begun to cover? If you feel like you’ve forgotten or left something at home, it’s probably just the knowledge that anything can change your life in an instant. Be care-free.” ~ Mince
With fire in their bellies and so much venom laced inside and ready to bite at any moment, Mince send our minds alive and is a swimming pool of fun with a sensational single to get truly excited about. This is raw to the core. Just the way it was intended.
Misprintfrom Leeds, UK-based indie post-punk band Mince, is a hammering new single which will cause a few rib cages to be tested. Powerful in delivery and soaring with a tremendously exciting sound, this is a mood-altering track which shall take our breath away rather quickly.
Hear this fine single on Spotify and see more news on IG.
Featuring a cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s Lips Like Sugar which contains all of the salacious murky atmosphere of the original, it is safe to say that Siggy’s comeback album, 25th Century, arrived with a proto-punk bang.
After making their debut in 1999 with the album, Harlow’s Girl,which carried a Crampsy sense of killer off-kilter volition, 25th Century had a lot to live up to, but the rhythmic pulse is strong across the 10 singles which traverse the themes of hope, fury, and the rank psychic pathology of the 21st century.
The gothy Echo and the Bunnymen vibes carry across more than just the cover, along with hints of Television and bites of Splitter-Esque punk. But for me, the highlight had to be the title single, which truly embraces the stifled with strange nature of the 21st century while throwing back to the time when guitarists knew how to lick right into your soul. “If there’s going to be a 25th century there has to be 21st century morality” is a lyric I will never forget.
25th Century is now available to stream on Spotify.
Wishing for things to change quickly before the hands of time destroy everything forever, Sketchdoll return with impressive aplomb on their terrific new release called Hourglass.
Sketchdoll is a Lewisham, London-formed indie alt-punk band who is certainly progressive and vitalizes our senses with rather ear-catching sounds to heal with.
Packed with a delightfully extraordinary style that is steaming to the brim with an excellent vibration, Sketchdoll might be our new favourite band. They mesh together like a glove and seem to only get better throughout, to send our minds into a contemplative state of ponder.
Hourglass from Lewisham, London-formed alt-punk act Sketchdoll is an emotional roller coaster that might cause your whole soul to feel in a reflective wonder. Wrapped together rather sweetly and loaded with a genuine message so many need to hear, we find a single that will certainly get those eyes wide and seeing clearer than before.
Performed with such stunning precision and laced with that world class vibe, this is a sizzling song to turn up loud and proud.
See this fab vid on YouTube and get a sense of their vibes on IG.
The UK live music scene may be on its knees. But on October 15th, a near-capacity crowd flocked to Gorilla in Manchester to kneel at the unholy alter of The Virginmarys as the Macclesfield-hailing band played the home leg on their tour of their critically acclaimed EP, Devil Keeps Coming.
With it being my first Virginmarys show amongst their devout fans, I was unsure of their ability to cut through the usual awkwardness of live music in the new normal. From the very first note of The Meds, any sense of cynicism slipped away. The crowd was instantaneously thrown into animation. Yet evidently, this was no average punk rock pit. Euphoria fuelled the momentum in place of the usual boozy weight-throwing aggravation. Something I’ve scarcely seen unless Riot Grrrl icons and their descendants are gracing the stage. As a testament to how much adoration The Virginmarys garner from their fans, one couple made the 3,000+ mile journey from Ohio to witness the deafening duo tearing up the turf in their hometown.
One thing I will never forget is how it wasn’t just the blues mainlined through punk veins with holy rock n roll reverence that gripped the crowd through the symbiotic dynamism between Ally’s guitars and Danny’s Bonham-Esque drum fills. In every direction, I saw how viscerally the lyricism resonated and psyched the crowd into a frenzy through the wit-deep lines that strip the alienation from political disillusion and mental precariousness.
The acoustic rendition of Sleepwas also a tear-jerking memorable feat of the hit-after-hit setlist, which forwent the egocentric inclusion of an encore. I’m fairly convinced that in Ally’s past life, he was a tortured soul from Tennessee. His uninhibited songwriting skills are only matched by his ability to get to the crux of emotions that mostly go unspoken.
If you get a chance to catch them on the remaining legs of their UK tour, take it. You won’t regret it.
Frenetic alt-rock cavorts with the waves of surf-rock and rolls with the punches of punk rock in Lucifers Beard’s twisted spaghetti western single, The Guy with a Black Eye.
After hearing it, I’m not so sad about the disbanding of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. The dynamically tumultuous track was mastered by the deft touch of Ed Ripley, who has previously worked with NOFX, Frank Turner, and Goat Girl. If there is any justice left in the industry, Lucifers Beard will receive the same amount of acclaim as all of the aforementioned.
Short of sticking a fork in the toaster, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more electrifying sensory experience than this animated feat of ingenuity.
The Guy with A Black Eye is due for release on October 7th. Hear it on SoundCloud.
Post-emo pop-punk outfit, Less Miserable took expression to the next level in their 2022 standout single, The Dentist. The visceral track explores the intricacies of depression by making a series of proclamations that everyone who has ever felt inadequacy loom along with the bark of the black dog will relate to.
With killer lines “the sun on my face feels like a cheap insult that I can’t ignore” and the chorus hook “If you want me to see a dentist, you’ll have to kick me in the teeth, I can’t ask for help unless it is an emergency” to a backdrop of progressively off-kilter post-hardcore rancour, The Dentist will break your heart through resonance. Before mending it through the affirmation that you’re not alone in the insecurities you feel in loving relationships and the tendency to neglect self-care when you don’t see yourself as something worth investing in
Without a hint of hyperbole, I’ve just found a new favourite artist in the Alberta-based outfit who specialises in self-deprecating anthems made to drink cheap beer to and shout along to in sweaty basements. It’s almost enough to make me buy a plane ticket to Calgary to party with the candour-gifted lyrical visionaries.
The Dentist is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.
The Holbrook, MA three-piece, Condition Baker, lace their pop-punk sound with an alt-90s twist; their latest single, One Thing, is the perfect introduction to their uniquely grungy and punchy sound distortion.
The infectious coming of age of lament unfurls around massive guitars fed through layers of frenetic distortion, drumbeats inspired by the Seattle grunge era and lyrics that are hooky enough that you can hang your coat on them before you head to the pit and enjoy the classic pop-punk choruses that keep on giving with every listen.
Any fans of Dookie-era Green Day, Jawbreaker, Descendants and Alkaline Trio will undoubtedly want to delve into this tenacious exposition of adulthood disillusion and exhaustion.
‘When it rains, it pours’ seems to be the perfect adage to capture the deluge of dissatisfaction drizzling over the entirety of the UK. But Buzzcocks siphoned euphonic punk rock dynamism from the dismal atmosphere in their single, Manchester Rain, taken from their upcoming studio album, Sonics in the Soul.
Inspired by the relentless motivation of grassroots artists to keep the scene thriving in Manchester, Manchester Rain is a smorgasbord of riotous optimism. One that will stir even the most ennui-soaked souls through the blasts galvanic garagey guitars and assertively upbeat vocals that create hooks sharp enough to hang your leather jacket on.
In the tragic wake of Pete Shelley, co-founder and co-singer-songwriter Steve Diggle has kept the buzz reverberating through their iconic-since-the-70s-sound. Shelley would undoubtedly be proud of Buzzcocks continuing to stand at the vanguard of punk-rock euphoria.